Intermediate disturbance in the ecology of phytoplankton and the maintenance of species diversity: a synthesis

C. S. Reynolds, J. Padisák, U. Sommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)


This paper concludes a collection of contributions presented at the 8th Workshop of the International Association of Phytoplankton Taxonomy and Ecology. It derives a consensus as to the virtues and strengths of J. H. Connell's Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH), its applicability to phytoplankton ecology and its theoretical and practical weaknesses. The view is expressed that the IDH is too useful a concept to reject and that, as a word model, it provides a powerful link between diversity and disturbance. The more robust investigations that are necessary to consolidate the tenancy of IDH need to concentrate upon the separation and quantification of the stimulus- and response-components of disturbance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993



  • disturbance
  • diversity
  • environmental variability
  • quiescence
  • species richness
  • temporal scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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